Coach fumes after ex-Man City star reveals Barcelona dream

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 6 Dec 2023 21:22 GMT
  • 3 min read
Xavi, Barcelona
© ProShots

Girona boss Michel was left fuming when one of his star players admitted that he would love to play for local rivals Barcelona.

The City Football Group-owned LaLiga side are flying high this term, currently sharing top spot with none other than Real Madrid on 38 points after 15 games. The Catalans are this season's surprise package, having been propelled up the standings thanks to the outstanding form of Brazilian winger Savio, on loan from fellow CFG side Troyes, and the goals of Artem Dovbyk and veteran ex-Premier League striker Cristhian Stuani.

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In midfield, CFG alumnus Aleix Garcia has also impressed, notching three goals and recording four assists. The 26-year-old joined Man City's academy in 2015 from Villarreal and would spend the next five years on the books of the Cityzens. During that time, however, he only made nine competitive first-team appearances and eventually departed, though he re-entered CFG's orbit when he signed for Girona in 2021.

Earlier this week, the native Catalan made headlines in Spain for openly declaring his desire to eventually play for Barcelona, who are just a little over an hour down the road from Girona and whom his club will face after their midweek Copa del Rey clash with Orihuela.

Trouble in paradise?

Garcia told Movistar Futbol: “I would like to play for Barcelona. It is the club that I have followed since I was little and the one that I have always liked.” Unsurprisingly, this didn't go down too well with head coach Michel.

“The best thing that can happen to us in a long week like this is to play the Copa, because my mind is focused entirely on Orihuela," Michel said. "It’s true that for many people the game on Sunday is more important, but I think Aleix has made a mistake.”

“I remember well when I was in the academy at Rayo [Vallecano] against Real Madrid, there were often times when there were more people celebrating their goals than ours. I hope that in Girona, it becomes only Girona. That we bring up people 100% Girona."

"We’ve started a project in which everything is possible, and that’s it. Tomorrow we have an important game, and we have to be 100% focused on it.”

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